A sudden decline in blood pressure can be triggered by a dramatic change in health or some medications. It may also imply an underlying medical issue like thyroid disorder. Provided there are no symptoms, reduced blood pressure in a generally healthy individual is not a cause for alarm. However, in some instances, a drop in your blood pressure may trigger serious health problems or be a sign of a health issue that requires immediate doctor attention. According to the current guidelines, normal blood pressure should range from 90/60 mm Hg to 120/88 mm Hg. Here are effects of low blood pressure, medically known as hypotension.
1. Dizziness, Lightheadedness, and other Early Symptoms
Once blood pressure declines, the early symptoms that will set in include dizziness and lightheadedness. Nonetheless, severe exhaustion with no explanation, extreme weakness, nausea along with vomiting and diarrhea, and general confusion may also arise. Medical specialists classify orthostatic hypotension (OH) as decreased blood pressure that often arises when changing your body position from lying down or seated to standing. OH triggers sudden drop in blood pressure, which can easily cause fainting. Neuroally mediated hypotension (NMH) also leads to significant reduction in blood pressure because of the lengthy period of standing or in reaction to emotional trauma. The pressure of the blood stabilizes within a couple of minutes in both cases.
2. Irregular Heartbeat, Seizures, and other Serious Symptoms
The National Institutes of Health suggests that substantially low blood pressure will mostly result in fainting, unbalanced heartbeats, and even seizures. A wide range of other subtle signs like breath shortness and chest pain usually accompanies these serious symptoms. Other effects of hypotension include painful urination, persistent pain in the back, neck stiffness, dull headaches, and even chronic indigestion that can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
3. Heart and Kidney Problems
If hypotension progress to late stages, it can seriously damage internal organs like heart and kidneys. Some people experience near-fatal heart attacks due to hypotension. This condition also affects the ability of kidneys to get rid of bodily wastes, which leads to kidney failure.
A sudden drop in the pressure of blood can keep major organs like brain from getting enough blood and oxygen. This situation is an ideal recipe for a severe shock. Vasodilatory shock leads to drastic loosening and relaxation of blood vessels. If your body experiences major blood loss caused by heart problems, shock may occur. This shock speeds up breathing and the pulse. Shock is an emergency that requires immediate treatment.
What are the Common Causes of Hypotension?
- Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions may trigger an acute decline in blood pressure. For instance, loss of blood from either an internal bleeding or an external injury will lead to an abrupt decrease in blood pressure. Loss of blood excessively during menstruation may also trigger hypotension. Dehydration due to fever, nausea, and serious diarrhea can also lead to a sharp drop in the pressure of blood. Serious infections or allergic reactions can also contribute to hypotension. Blood pressure tends to decrease with heart failure since the damaged heart is not effective in pumping the blood.
- Medications: Many medications play an active role in bringing down the blood pressure or making you more vulnerable to sudden hypotension. Of course, medications meant for treating high blood pressure operate by causing the blood vessels to relax and decrease pressure. Examples of these medications are calcium channel blocker, beta-blockers, nitrates, and ACE inhibitors. Diuretics also reduce blood pressure by lowering the fluid amounts in the body. Certain anti-anxieties, antidepressant s, and medications for erectile dysfunction and Parkinson’s disease can cause a sudden decrease in blood pressure.
- Unhealthy Eating Habits: Consuming foods that lack nutrients can make you susceptible to hypotension. The absence of folate and vitamin B-12 in your diet prevents your body from generating adequate red blood cells, which triggers low blood pressure.
- Endocrine Issues: Thyroid complications like parathyroid disorder, adrenal insufficiency, low blood sugar, and in some instances, diabetes can cause hypotension.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the circulatory system undergoes a rapid expansion resulting in a reduction in blood pressure. However, this pressure drop is temporary and usually goes back to your pre-pregnancy level once you have given birth.
Significantly low blood pressure can severely damage your internal organs. Even mild forms of hypotension can result in dizziness, fainting, weakness, and a risk of severe injuries from falls. Therefore, monitoring your blood pressure levels consistently and visiting your doctor for checkup regularly can help you live a happy and healthy life.